Traditional Irish Music
London has not seen too many new traditional groups in recent years. A vibrant city deserves a vibrant and forward thinking band and CrossHarbour fit that bill. They are the Facebook generation - young talented and brimming with ideas. Their music is modern traditional, reflecting the cosmopolitan environment which surrounds them. Their arrangements are more complex than many of their contemporaries and would transfer very well to the stage. It is not a three tunes-twice around-type of album. Stops, starts, gear shifts and energising flourishes from all members with the mesmerising talents of Órlaith McAuliffe finally given an outlet. She is a prodigious talent that needs to be heard more widely and this album will help. Philippe Barnes, Sam Proctor, Tad Sargent and Rosie Hodgson make up the rest of the band and all contribute significantly to the overall sound.
Tracks like Chicago which include The Chicago Jig/Nina’s Jig/Palmer’s Gate are bright and energising in their presentation. Clever intros to tracks like Jackson’s Reel and some interesting accompaniment on a couple of the songs show a creative and exploratory streak to the band. Each track has been carefully crafted to create life and energy. They use syncopated type rhythms and short snappy breaks within the tracks to create space and movement. Vocally the band is on more solid ground with traditional songs like Wedding Dress and Blackwaterside. Of the two Rosie Hodgson compositions that are included Need Not Declare works best, and further extends the groups potential into strong original vocal material. I saw CrossHarbour live a year ago and the immense promise they showed then is stamped all over this debut. This is a confident and entertaining album that sets CrossHarbour up as one of the best bands to come out of the London scene in quite a while. Visit www.crossharbourmusic.com
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